Crime, Legal Related

LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA INC

aka LANC   |   Raleigh, NC   |  www.legalaidnc.org

Mission

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Mr. George Hausen Jr.

Main address

PO Box 26087

Raleigh, NC 27611 USA

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EIN

31-1784161

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Almost a quarter of North Carolina’s population struggles to make ends meet. Families all over the state face hardships like: inadequate housing, food insecurity, lack of access to benefits and healthcare, domestic violence, unfair employment, discriminatory treatment, instability after a natural disaster and other obstacles. Legal Services Corporation (LSC) estimated in 2016 that 71% of low-income families will experience at least one civil legal issue a year including problems with health care, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits, and domestic violence. The rate is even higher for households with survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault (97%,) with parents/guardians of kids under 18 (80%), and with disabled persons (80%.) To make matters worse, most Americans incorrectly believe that they have a right to an attorney in any court case. They are shocked to learn that legal assistance in a civil case is difficult and expensive to attain.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Regional Outreach

Legal Aid provides free legal services in civil matters (e.g., family law, public benefits law, housing law, consumer law...) to those in NC whose income falls below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Legal Aid has nineteen regional offices and eleven special projects that focus on unique client populations and special areas of law. Our special projects are: Advocates for Children's Services Battered Immigrant Project Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative Fair Housing Project Farmworker Unit Medical-Legal Partnership Mortgage Foreclosure Project NC Navigator Consortium Senior Law Project The Child's Advocate Veterans Law Project All our programs are designed to meet the needs of vulnerable North Carolinian populations including: children, the elderly, veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, victims of disasters and those struggling to meet ends meet.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Victims and oppressed people

Advocates for Children's Services (ACS) is a statewide project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that focuses on serving children in the public education system. ACS cases involve: short-term suspension; long-term suspension; expulsion; involuntary transfers to alternative school; denial of enrollment; discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex or disability; mistreatment by school security personnel; special education; bullying; and academic failure. In addition to providing direct legal services to clients, ACS provides community education in the form of publications, presentations, trainings, and media outreach, and collaborates with other organizations and individuals working for education justice.. To be eligible for services from ACS, a child must live in a household with an income not more than 187.5 percent of the federal poverty level, or live in foster care. Legal Aid of North Carolina screens all applicants to determine if they meet financial and other requirements for service.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem among North Carolina’s immigrant population, just as it is among U.S. citizens. Battered immigrants need legal assistance in order to navigate the complex maze of ever-changing immigration laws. The Battered Immigrant Project (BIP), part of our Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, provides comprehensive and culturally appropriate legal services to immigrant survivors of violence needing assistance with immigration. The BIP represents qualifying applicants across North Carolina in immigration matters including: • Self-Petitions and Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residency under the Violence Against Women Act • U Visas for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking • T Visas for victims of human trafficking • Deportation defense for qualifying victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. BIP attorneys work with domestic violence and immigrant rights advocates across the state to provide them with information about the rights of battered immigrants. Through the DVPI, staff in local LANC offices, as resources allow, represent immigrant survivors in legal matters such as: • Domestic Violence Protective Orders • Family Law issues • Public Benefits • Housing issues.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants, newcomers, refugees
Victims and oppressed people

The Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) is a statewide project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that provides legal assistance to victims of domestic violence. DVPI advocates are trained to keep victims safe and help them become self-sufficient so they can live independently from their abusers. DVPI advocates work closely with community-based programs, agencies and task forces serving victims of domestic violence. The DVPI has existing formal collaborative agreements and referral protocols with more than 60 domestic violence victim services organizations throughout the state, and informal working relationships with at least 20 others. The DVPI also partners with the University of North Carolina School of Law by training and supervising law students in its Domestic Violence Clinic. Legal Aid of North Carolina receives funding for domestic violence work from a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant to provide emergency-only services, such as obtaining and enforcing protection orders. LANC also receives funding for domestic violence work from the State of North Carolina. The DVPI also operates the Battered Immigrant Project, which provides comprehensive and culturally appropriate legal services to immigrant survivors of violence needing assistance with immigration.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

​The Fair Housing Project of Legal Aid of North Carolina works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people in North Carolina through education, outreach, public policy initiatives, advocacy and enforcement.​ The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits the denial of housing to a person based on the person’s membership in one or more of the classes protected under the Act. The protected classes are race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. In addition, North Carolina law prohibits discrimination in the siting of affordable housing. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits the denial of housing to a person based on the person’s membership in one or more of the classes protected under the Act. The protected classes are race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. In addition, North Carolina law prohibits discrimination in the siting of affordable housing.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

The Farmworker Unit (FWU) is a statewide project that serves migrant farmworkers. Although farmworkers do very hard work and although without their labor we would not have the abundant food we do, they often struggle just to earn enough to feed and clothe their families. North Carolina has the 5th or 6th largest population of farmworkers in the United States and the largest number of farmworkers who come to the United States on temporary visas to do farmwork. FWU seeks to increase the level of socioeconomic integration of migrant farm workers to ensure full participation in society. We work toward this goal by protecting and enforcing the employment and civil rights of migrant workers and by protecting and enforcing the contractual and statutory obligations under H2-A worker contracts and other legal rights of H-2A workers. Our hope is to ensure that migrant workers are afforded equal opportunity to live and work safely, and in accordance with federal, state and international law.

Population(s) Served
Migrant workers
Farmers

The Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Project, known as the MFP, is a statewide project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that strives to keep working poor and working families in possession of their homes and home equity. By providing high-quality legal representation in foreclosure actions, the MFP saves homes, preserves credit ratings and strives to make prohibitive the cost of conducting business for unscrupulous brokers and lenders. The MFP also provides community education to increase awareness of home-finance best practices and the dangers of predatory lending. The MFP collaborates with six other legal services organizations to form the Home Defense Project (HDP). The HDP saves homes and reduces foreclosures in North Carolina by securing loan modifications for borrowers and providing high-quality foreclosure-defense work in every county in the state. The HDP is funded in part by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation​. The six other members of the HDP are: Financial Protection Law Center Land Loss Prevention Project Legal Services of Southern Piedmont North Carolina Housing Coalition​ North Carolina Justice Center Pisgah Legal Services

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

The Senior Law Project provides free civil legal help to North Carolinians who are 60 years of age or older. Priority is given to those with the greatest need. The Senior Law Project helps with wills, powers of attorney, public benefits (Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income Program, Social Security Disability Insurance, etc.), abuse and neglect, unemployment compensation, housing (foreclosure, eviction, subsidized housing, repairs, utilities, etc.), consumer issues and wrongful repossession. The Senior Law Project operates our Senior Legal Helpline, a toll-free hotline available for seniors across the state.

Population(s) Served
Aging, elderly, senior citizens
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

​The Child’s Advocate is a project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that provides attorneys to children in highly contentious family court cases. We are appointed by judges in Wake County Family Court to represent children in cases which usually involve one or more of the following: chronic conflict between the parents, neglect, substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, continuing litigation, mental illness, or children with special needs. Decisions relating to custody and visitation have a critical impact on the lives of the children we serve. Once appointed by the Court, we are attorneys for our child clients, protecting their interests and ensuring their voices are heard. Attorneys at The Child’s Advocate work with private lawyers and mental health professionals in Wake County to represent every child identified by the Court as needing an independent and zealous advocate. In the majority of our cases, the Child’s Advocate helps the parents to resolve the custody dispute without the need for a trial. This greatly reduces stress on both the child and the parents, and saves the court the time and expense of a custody trial. When a trial is necessary, we give the child a strong and effective voice so that the child’s expressed wishes are considered by the court. We also increase the ability of the court to obtain timely and reliable information about the child, the parties and the facts of the case. This allows the court to make the best decision possible to safeguard the child’s interests.​

Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
At-risk youth

The Veterans Law Project is a special, statewide unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina that helps low-income veterans overcome service-related legal barriers that prevent them from living self-sufficiently and seeking economic opportunity. We focus our advocacy on cases that can have a serious impact on a veteran's ability to find work, secure housing and establish economic stability. Areas of practice include: disability compensation, discharge upgrades, pension benefits and VA overpayments. Veterans must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to be eligible for help. We prioritize clients who are homeless or facing homelessness. Facing homelessness can mean: couch surfing, being behind on rent and threatened with eviction, being behind on mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, and more.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number recorded here is the number of clients we served in each year.

Hours of legal assistance offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the total number of legal hours of assistance provided by both staff and volunteers.

Number of attorney volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Legal Aid of North Carolina has many active and accomplished attorney volunteers who take on pro bono cases, serve on our Board of Directors, volunteer at events, lead self-help workshops and more.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of individual, law firm and professional association donors. It does not include larger granting organizations.

Number of pro bono hours contributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of hours contributed to active cases by volunteer attorneys

Number of children receiving assistance with important legal documents

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth (0-19 years),Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number listed here are the number of children who were clients. Special projects that serve children include: Advocates for Children Services, The Child Advocate and the Medical Legal Partnership.

Number of lives touched

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the total number of people impacted by Legal Aid of North Carolina calculated by taking the total number of people in households served.

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Stats before 2018 show the number of cases "closed" rather than "handled." Declines or increases in cases are often related to a slash or increase in funding.

Number of phone calls/inquiries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of calls received by our toll-free helpline. Our call center is one of the most innovative and efficient legal aid helplines in the country and has been an inspiration for other programs.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

A legal advocate can be life-changing for a family. Legal Aid ameliorates the devastating effects of poverty by working strategically with other organizations to educate people about their rights, offer free legal advice and represent clients in legal disputes. Legal intervention can change a household’s circumstances from unsafe housing that causes medical problems to custody agreements that ensure survivors of domestic violence can protect their family from future abuse. Research shows that having legal representation is the single most important factor in enabling victims to escape the cycle of domestic violence. Yet fewer than 1 in 5 low-income victims of domestic violence ever gets to see a lawyer. Legal Aid of North Carolina's goal is to create a more just and prosperous North Carolina by ensuring equal access to justice for everyone. We focus on legal needs that rob individuals of their dignity and their access to basic needs like housing, food, employment, health, safety and an education. The need is so great that we prioritize cases that have the biggest impact on client's lives and their communities. A recent survey indicates that across the US only 1 in 4 individuals in civil court has legal representation - while their opposing side is almost always represented. This terrible imbalance in the justice system can spark a chain reaction of negative consequences for people already struggling to make ends meet. We use a combination of staff attorneys, volunteers and partners to serve as many people as we can. We have more than a dozen regional offices throughout the state, a free centralized helpline and special projects that ensure that no group or community is left behind. Special Projects help marginalized groups like children, domestic violence victims, battered immigrants, veterans, seniors, victims of housing discrimination, migrant farmworkers, Native Americans and other groups. Each year we revisit our prioritizes to ensure that we are addressing the most dire civil legal needs in North Carolina.

Our strategies include providing civil legal help through generalist legal staff, issue-focused expert legal staff and volunteers. Clients receive three types of services: informational services such as self-help clinics and educational materials, brief service and advice like a conversation with an attorney, and extended service such as representation in court. In order to make the biggest impact for individual clients and their communities, we take a holistic approach when evaluating clients and potential cases. Legal Aid is committed to improving our clients’ circumstances and helping them to break free from cycles of poverty. Our work improves the quality of life in communities facing hardship and can be instrumental in increasing health and stability. For example, Legal Aid positively impacts clients’ social determinants of health including: increasing the availability of resources to meet daily basic needs, ensuring healthy physical environments, creating equal access to the opportunity to learn and work and reducing exposure to violence. We do this by leading the North Carolina Navigator Consortium which helps consumers enroll in healthcare coverage on Healthcare.gov. Thanks in part to the efforts of the NC Navigator Consortium, the only navigator group in North Carolina, our state has had the third-highest number of enrollments out of the roughly 40 states. Our healthcare work also includes a Medical Legal Partnership that connects legal and medical professionals to tackle the legal factors that prevent patients from becoming healthy. The partnership includes about a dozen healthcare centers including statewide partner United Healthcare. In conjunction with Medicaid expansion and privatization in North Carolina, we have begun outlining future partnerships with insurance companies to provide legal services for Medicaid patients. We know that by strategically tackling a lack of access to affordable healthcare proactively, we can prevent future legal problems that result from poor health and catastrophic poverty. Our commitment to our clients’ well-being includes providing access to social workers at key offices. Social workers provide additional resources for clients and continue to strengthen Legal Aid’s relationships with local organizations. A recent goal is to expand our clients’ access to social workers across our practice. Since low-income individuals face many obstacles, at Legal Aid we want to ensure that we're doing our best to set our clients up for future success and stability.

Legal Aid of North Carolina’s has a strong capability to improve the lives of the disenfranchised and those struggling to make ends meet in North Carolina. We touch the lives of over 60,000 people and handle more than 20,000 cases a year. We are deeply embedded in the North Carolina nonprofit community. Not only do we obtain funding for all our programming, we also assist partnering organizations with obtaining and administering grants. The biggest obstacle preventing equal access to justice for every North Carolinian is a lack of resources. Until the lack of resources can be addressed, Legal Aid employs multiple ways of ensuring that every penny is stretched and that cases are prioritized to help those with the greatest need. Every year we bring on new partners and new funders to increase the impact we can have on our state. Partnerships are built and maintained with city governments, universities, insurance companies, corporations, legal associations, government agencies, local nonprofits and others. Internally, we have bolstered our capability by centralizing certain functions. Our centralized free legal helpline is considered one of the best in the country and has been a model for other Legal Aids. Our helpline quickly and compassionately fields calls and assigns cases to our different programs. Our unique structure that combines regional offices and special projects ensures that no part of the state and no group is left behind in the pursuit of justice.

We measure success by several standards including: the number of clients we’re able to serve, the value of benefits we’re able to secure for our clients, the diversity of our clients including geographic and ethnic diversity and the types of programs were able to maintain. We measure the impact of our services both by the relative impact on an individual and by cases that can positively impact the lives of entire populations. We use data to regularly reflect on how well we are doing. We engage in rigorous reporting efforts in order to meet and exceed the expectations of our funders. Government entities like the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) demand very detailed and regular reports on our efforts. As a result, we collect and analyze a high volume of data about our clients and services. Our accomplished team includes financial personnel and IT staff to ensure that we can produce accurate data. This information tells us if we’re meeting our different programming goals and when more resources are needed.

Over the organization’s first fifteen years we touched the lives of 872,814 people and provided at least $279.2 million dollars in benefits to our clients. We’ve built ground-breaking partnerships like city-wide eviction diversion projects and a statewide Medical Legal Partnership. We’ve taken on a leadership role in our state as the leader of the NC Navigator consortium that provides access to affordable healthcare. We’ve won cases that have had resulted in more just and equitable housing and educational policies. These shifts in policies have affected millions of children and tenants in North Carolina. We’re a highly regarded Legal Aid and our innovative helpline serves as a model for other civil legal aid organizations. Our future plans include continuing to grow to serve the increasing civil legal needs of low-income North Carolinians. We plan to grow strategically by expanding partnerships, utilizing technology, centralizing and specializing when necessary, and remaining flexible enough to address new problems. For example: Recently with the increase in severe weather, we have expanded our disaster relief efforts. Before hurricane Florence struck North Carolina in the fall of 2018, we quickly reallocated resources to prepare for more disaster relief cases and prioritized areas that would be affected by the disaster. We remain a nimble organization, despite our size, in order to respond to changes in our communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is the organization collecting feedback?

    We regularly collect feedback through: paper surveys, community meetings/town halls, constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees.

  • How is the organization using feedback?

    We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.

Financials

LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA INC

Board of directors
as of 6/8/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Clayton Morgan

Duke Energy

Term: 2019 -

Clayton Morgan

Duke Energy Corporation

Monica Webb-Shackleford

Francisco Benzoni

NC Department of Justice

Glenn Barfield

Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse & Kinsey, PLLC

James Talley, Jr.

Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, PA

Monica Webb-Shackleford

Forrest Firm

Reid Adams, Jr.

Womble Bond Dickinson

Amanda Bradley

Geraldine Champion

Chris Clifton

Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A.

Kristy Fleming

Gonzalo Frias

Duke Energy Corporation

E. Gaskins, Jr.

Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP

Jonathan Harris

Kilpatrick Stockton & Townsend LLP

Kathy Harris

Mary Hedgepeth

Lockwood Perry

LaTrice Robinson

Richard Rutledge, Jr.

The Law Office of Richard J. Rutledge

Juan Arreola

Arreola Law Office

Ashley Huffstetler

Ragsdale Liggett

Lenneka Feliciano

Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers

Jaqueline Grant

Roberts & Stevens Attorney at Law

Iris Green

Disability Rights NC

Adrienne Kennedy

S. Patyon

Ward Black Law

Mario Perez

Assistant Public Defender

Diane Wardlow

Khristen Sellers

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/31/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Keywords

legal services, poverty law, poor, access to justice, civil justice, advocates for the poor